Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Hennes

Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

Recommended Posts

Chana Dal with Spinach and Tomato (p. 127)

 

This is a simple dal with a few vegetables added at the end of cooking. I of course would have liked more spinach, but overall it was good.

 

Chana Dal with Spinach and Tomato (p. 127).jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spinach Bhajias (p. 17)

 

I made two errors when making this recipe: first, I added the water too quickly when making the batter so wound up with too much of it. This meant I had to then add more chickpea flour, which made these a bit doughier than they were supposed to be. Second, I used a scoop to form them, which did not leave the edges ragged enough. They are supposed to be rough around the edges, which then get crispy when fried, but mine were too smooth and neat. That said, the taste overall was good, particularly dipped in the tamarind chutney she suggests.

 

Spinach Bhajias (p. 17).jpg

 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Breakfast this morning. 

20048D54-6FF1-4B9D-A610-B49C2584F7B6.thumb.jpeg.3dd977edff7845a14f6a56034f7c1d4e.jpeg

Eggs in mustard sauce. I do not think I would have attempted this recipe if @Chris Hennes had not led the way. I love English mustard but it did sound a little over-the-top at first glance. With all the other spices the taste was quite complex but I found the sauce to be very runny.  I might consider reducing the amount of water if I were to make a repeat stab at this. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Anna N -- did you serve it on rice, or by itself? I find that many (most, really) of the dishes in this book have a fairly loose sauce to them that benefits serving with rice or bread to soak it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tomato Rasam Soup (p. 6)

 

This is an interesting take on tomato soup, with a solid hit of sourness from the tamarind puree, plus a packaged Rasam spice powder (I used MTR brand as she suggests) and a straightforward tarka to finish it off. I served it with bread on the side one day, and "American-style" with grilled cheese sandwiches the next. Delicious both ways.

 

Tomato Rasam Soup (p. 6).jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chris Hennes said:

@Anna N -- did you serve it on rice, or by itself? I find that many (most, really) of the dishes in this book have a fairly loose sauce to them that benefits serving with rice or bread to soak it up.

 Damn. I was trying to keep this culinary confession all to myself. I realized as I was about to serve this  that it definitely needed some rice but the only rice that would not take some time to cook was a package of microwaveable rice in my pantry that I had bought because my granddaughter is rather fond of it.  Frankly I found it disgusting but managed to eat around it!  But yes it would definitely have benefitted from some well cooked basmati rice. I think it is a given but it was early in the morning and I wasn’t thinking straight.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goan Black-Eyed Peas with Coconut (p. 124)

 

This Goan curry is based on coconut and tomatoes, with no tarka. I fear her instructions for cooking the base were a bit unclear: my guess in retrospect is that the intent is to cook the coconut slurry until it breaks, as is often done with coconut milk. I wasn't thinking of it as coconut milk because you start with pureed coconut solids and fry that with the onions. When cooking I just followed the frying time in the book, at which point the emulsion still held. The next step is to add tomatoes and fry until "there is oil around the edges." I did that, but the coconut was still emulsified, there was just some extra vegetable oil in the dish that wasn't emulsified. So the dish tasted good, but I suspect the texture and appearance was not as intended.

 

Goan Black-Eyed Peas with Coconut (p. 124).jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mixed Dal, Marwari-Style (p. 154)

 

This dish was disappointingly, and surprisingly, bland. It's got a lot going for it, but it just has too much water diluting the flavors of a really lovely-smelling tarka and a spiced dal cooking broth. She cooks one cup of dal in four cups of water. Maybe if they weren't pre-soaked that amount would be OK, though even then I'd guess that I personally would have liked it thicker.

 

Mixed Dal, Marwari-Style (p. 154).jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nepalese Black-Eyed Peas with Potatoes and Bamboo Shoots (p. 126)

 

After yesterday's experience I tweaked this recipe a bit, starting with quite  a bit less water than the recipe calls for, on the theory that I could always add more if needed. I'm glad I did, because I didn't end up adding any more water and still had to play the with flavor balance a bit at the end. That said, it did come together in the end, and the combination of textures was more interesting than most of the dal dishes.

 

Nepalese Black-Eyed Peas with Potatoes and Bamboo Shoots (p. 126).jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find a lot of Dahl recipes call for too much water so I usually start with just covering the Dahl with a half inch of water and add more as I need to.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Punjabi-Style Okra Masala (p. 96)

Spiced Hyderabadi Rice (p. 176)

Savory Whole-Wheat Pancakes (p. 246)

 

There was okra at the store today so I picked one of the okra dishes from the book and centered dinner around it. I like okra, so unsurprisingly I liked this dish -- it's got quite a lot of fenugreek leaves in it, which adds an interesting and unexpected flavor note. I served it with a pancake that I've made before (and liked less this time... go figure) and a spiced basmati rice dish that was quite good.

 

DSC_8083-Edit.jpg

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okra Dry-Cooked with Yogurt (p. 95)

 

Using up the last of the okra I picked up yesterday, this is a relatively straightforward stir-fry of okra and onions. I overshot the mark on the doneness of the okra by a minute or two, but overall it was still good.

 

DSC_8134.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Green Chutney (p. 304)

Gingery Cranberry Chutney with Mustard Seeds (p. 320)

Spicy Peanut and Garlic Crumble (p. 312)

 

Almost all of her recipes say something like "serve this with relishes, flatbreads, and a selection of chutneys." I usually ignore this and serve with a relish, and a chutney, since I rarely ever have more than one on hand. Today, however, I had some extra time, so made three more chutneys to add to my collection, bringing the current total to five. That seems respectable.

 

DSC_8128.jpg

 

DSC_8129.jpg

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those colors are beautiful, Chris.  I'd be enticed to add them to foods!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spinach with Fresh Indian Cheese (p. 301)

Turnip Bharta (p. 116)

 

Saag Paneer is one of my favorite dishes, and I'd never tried making paneer before, so I gave it a go. My paneer never really became a cohesive block, it stayed quite crumbly, so the dish was aesthetically a bit of a mess. Still delicious, of course, but not quite what I had in mind. The turnip mash was good but not spectacular. I would have liked a bit of acid added at the end, I think.

 

DSC_8149.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Chris isn't that the beauty of so many cuisines that are personally adjustable with condimemts as you showed recently up topic. Chutneys et al. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the great lady's food :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chili-fried Eggs from Sri Lanka (p. 275)

 

In this simple dish you make a three-ingredient relish (shallots, chiles, and tomatoes) and serve it on top of fried eggs. I'm sure there are a million variants on this idea, since obviously you could add any number of spices to the mixture if you wanted to. A nice easy weeknight dinner, served with rice, sourdough bread, and a selection of chutneys.

 

DSC_8157.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spicy Cauliflower Omelette (p. 280)

 

An omelette filled with a mixture of finely grated cauliflower, shallots, chiles, and tomato, spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger and garam masala.

 

DSC_8166.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Green Beans with Potatoes (p. 63)

 

This is a fairly straightforward dish of green beans and potatoes simmered with cumin, ginger, chiles, and a tomato puree. Not my favorite green bean preparation (I like them less cooked), but pretty good.

 

DSC_8196.jpg

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chickpeas is a Fresh Cilantro Sauce (p. 134)

 

It's sort of funny to call this a "fresh cilantro sauce" -- after you simmer it for 20 minutes it doesn't really retain much of the character of fresh cilantro. The taste was good, however. I did add the optional chaat masala, about 1 tsp worth, and those are freshly cooked dried chickpeas, rather than the canned ones she calls for.

 

DSC_8202.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made two simple dishes from the book so far. One is the orange and radish salad; hard to go wrong there, although I can easily see making this as a side for a Southwestern or Mexican meal, given the main flavors are cumin and cilantro. The mint gives it a twist, and I added just a little splash of olive oil.

 

Today I made the tomato rice. Delicious! And seriously easy. We had it with some mango pickle, not home made. I used canned tomato but I can see using fresh ones in summer. The suggestion to make the tomato sauce component ahead of time makes this a slam-dunk. Again, it would be hard not to like this, since I can be happy throwing salt on a juicy chopped heirloom tomato, adding olive oil or butter, and then just dumping it on hot basmati rice. 

 

I know it has been touched on up thread, but to me it is really amazing how many recipes have neither onion or garlic. The use of asafetida is a revelation for me, especially since I'm not eating onions these days. Perfect. The other thing about this book is the almost routine use of oil instead of butter, as I always associate ghee (and lots of it) with most Indian food. Again, excellent for me since I try to limit my butter intake as well. I've marked so many recipes in the book that I can't possibly try them all before it is due back at the library, so if several more dishes are big hits I may have to go ahead and buy myself a copy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By highchef
      we're all used to the Wednesday/Sunday food sections of newspapers far and wide, national and local. I see corrections in the local or regional columns when called for, but there's never a way to critique the ones published on a national scale because the content is behind a paywall. I get the WSJ, but don't want to pay additional (I should get access to it all on line for free-the newspaper is not cheap) for their online edition. Very frustrating to try a recipe and have major problems with it and not be able to point out some serious issues. Specifically, the WSJ published a recipe from Dee Retalli, a pastry chef in London who's recipe is in the cookbook 'Rustic' by Jorge Fernandez and Rich Wells. 
      I have made this cake 3 times.
      First time was a total runover disaster, which I should have foreseen. This cakes calls for a 10" springform or if you don't have that, a 10" cast iron skillet. I went for the latter because that is what I had. Almond mixtures tend to really smoke when they run over, just so you know.
      Tried again later with a deeper than normal 9 " springform. Happened again. Think it has to do with the 2 teaspoons of baking powder and quick activation in a 350º oven.
      Invested in a 10" springform for '3rd times a charm' try. I was successful, but not because I followed the directions, rather I became a little obsessed with making this work. Checked my oven, followed with the recipe and eyed it warily. It came up to the brim...and stayed. 45 minutes later it was supposed to be done but while it was beautiful, it was a bowl of jello in the center. It was also browning at an alarming rate- the almond flour again? So I placed a sheet of tinfoil over it (beautiful top crust) and turned the oven down to 325º and carefully watched and tested for almost another hour. That's a big time difference. 
      I found the recipe on cooked.com - credited to the above authors and cookbook albeit in Euro style measures and temps. All seems the same, so what are the odds that the recipe was misprinted twice from 2 different media?
      All I can think of is somewhere down the line (in the cookbook itself?) the cook time and temp were off. The time on both reads 45 min. The recipe took at least 1hr and 45 minutes. methinks someone left out the hour...
      The temp. thing is a little more obvious. Celcius to farenheight 350ºF does not equal 180ºC, more like 176ºC. Over almost 2 hours, I think that could make the difference between cooked and burnt? Sooo, I turned it down when I saw how fast it was browning to 325.
      The cake stays in form while you pour the honey over it, then orange water, then 2(!!!) cups of sliced toasted almonds. I put 1 cup and there is no way another cup would have stayed on that cake. I cup settled up to almost an inch on a 10" cake...
      Has anyone else tried this recipe or have the cookbook? It's a wonderful cake if you correct the time and temp., But I'd be really curious to see if anyone followed it exactly as written with success?
       
    • By Ling
      Hi everyone! In our last Iron Baker challenge, I was given the task of coming up with a modern take on the retro classic Pineapple Upside-down Cake. For those who missed it the first time around, a picture of my creation can be found here. Now that the first round is over, it's my pleasure to introduce gfron1 as the next baker who will be presented with the new challenge!
      gfron1 is a very talented baker who has posted beautiful dessert creations in our Dessert thread. I am a huge fan. Here is a look at what he can do!
      So, my challenge to gfron1 is this:
      Make a dessert containing an animal ingredient or product other than lard or bacon by October 10th.
      I think all of us will be waiting with bated breath for whatever innovative/scary/(and most importantly) tasty combinations you come up with!
      (Now we just gotta wait around until he notices this thread and accepts... )
      P.S. If you're vegetarian, I can change the challenge.
    • By Mjx
      I'm helping to prepare food for a party, and several of the guests are vegan, and, because I grew up in a vegetarian household, and a lot of the food we ate would have been suitable for vegans, too, I've been asked to come up with several suitable dishes.
       
      The thing is, I'd like to make some dishes that are really appealing, rather than just 'pretty decent for a vegan dish'. I can think of several possibilities, but I'd love to hear other omnivores' experiences of vegan dishes that they really enjoyed, things they'd make themselves/again, or look forward to eating if they knew it was going to be served to them.
       
      Thanks!
      M.
    • By Lisa Shock
      Years ago, when I visited Tokyo, I ate in a small but fascinating restaurant called 'It's Vegetable' which is now, unfortunately, closed. The chef was from Taiwan, and he made Buddhist vegetarian and vegan dishes that resembled meat. During my visit, several monks wearing robes stopped in to eat dinner. The dishes were pretty amazing. I understood some of them, like using seitan to mimic chicken in stir fry dishes, others used tofu products like yuba, but, others were complex and obviously difficult. One very notable dish we enjoyed was a large 'fish' fillet designed to serve several people. It had a 'skin' made of carefully layered 'scales' cut from nori and attached to the surface. Inside, the white 'flesh' flaked and tasted much like a mild fish. Anyway, apparently Buddhist fake meat meals are very popular in Taiwan and many places, cheap through to fine dining serve them. Yes, if I worked on it for a while, I could probably refine one or two dishes on my own, but, I am wondering if there's a Modernist Cuisine type cookbook for skillfully making these mock meats from scratch? (I have heard that some items are commercially made and available frozen there, much like soy-based burgers are in the US.) I am willing to try almost any offering, even if it's entirely in Chinese. And, I know how to use remailers to purchase regional items from the various local retailers worldwide who do not ship to the US.
    • By chefmd
      It's time to get excited about new cookbooks coming out this year.  Hopefully some will also appear on bargain thread.   Here is an article from Food and Wine that lists some of the spring offerings.
      http://www.foodandwine.com/news/cookbooks-spring-2018
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×